Firstly, a Happy New Year to you all. I hope the writing gods are kind to you in 2020 and inspire you to write many new stories.
It is customary to make goals or resolutions with the arrival of a new year, some will be accomplished others not, but no matter what, we can help ourselves by planning. There are several way to do this, such as:
Making a goal board
Using a planner
Writing out each goal on your calendar so you have a deadline
Work with a group of friends to encourage each other to stay on track
Or even a mixture of some or all of the above!
As you can see from the image, I have four different ‘planning’ tools – I always use the same fridge calendar, where dates are entered for all my ‘writing’ related items such as conferences, meetings and events etc. This year I am attending a new event, When Words Collide and traveling to new parts of Alberta and British Columbia on writing road trips.
The weekly notepad with the lovely floral background now has my facebook/twitter group schedule so we all post the same subject each day enabling us to share and comment. The smaller notebook has freelance projects listed in it with details, contact information and deadlines. I also have a new ‘word of the day’ desk calendar, which I will use to inspire my Muse.
What do you use to keep yourself on track with your writing life?
Shock up shock I have no events this week – wow that doesn’t happen often. Now what to do with all this ‘free’ time? Well writing of course. I will meet up with an author friend later in the week and probably ‘escape’ to the library one night for uninterrupted writing too.
How does your week look? I have a dog staying until Tuesday so it is nice to walk in the cool of early morning and later night.
I wrote this about my dog a few years ago.
Just Walking the Dog!
The air smells wonderful after the rain, all fresh and clean. The vetch and clover’s scent float like gossamer in the breeze. Drops of water glisten on leaves and grass, leaving wet patches on my feet and legs. The cool is so refreshing after the baking heat of the morning, when I had helped my husband do his lumberjack impression. Hauling branches and logs into the truck, so they can be piled up in the far side of the acreage.
This peaceful walk brings me respite and time to relax without the demands of house, husband and children.
The trials are damp underfoot, the sun dapples through the high branches, gradually making the air more humid as I walk. I watch dancing butterflies of orange and yellow and damsel flies of crimson, burnt orange and emerald green flitting quickly side to side. In front of me the sudden flash of black and white signals the flight of crickets in wave after wave throughout the long grass. As the grass brushes my jeans it leaves little tears of moisture dampening the fabric.
I find a new trail to explore, the earth is wetter here we leave our mark in the sticky mud: paws and shoes. The trial peters out emerging onto a huge earth mound, made by excavators. Looking around for a familiar landmark all I see is the main road I took to get to this off leash area. With no obvious exit, we retrace our steps back to a clearing and find another trial through the birch trees, which eventually brings us back to familiar territory.
Passing the time of day with other walkers, we watch our dog’s engage in the sniffing routine and then part again. Once back to the car park, it’s a bowl of water for my dog and a sip from a bottle for me. I really enjoy this place it gives me time to relax and enjoy the wildlife. One early morning we came across a deer and then a coyote ran across the meadow, quickly chased by my dog until I recall her, just in case there is a pack within the far wood – another story for another time.
Story Slam is every third Wed of the month, every month
Competitive story telling event with no censorship. Up to 10 people have 5 minutes to tell a story. 5 random judges are in the audience. Winner takes home the donation hat and total glory.
The Golden Quill Awards. The theme is “Liberation.” $500 first prize. Short fiction, poetry and personal essay categories. Up to 1500 words for prose, 40 lines for poetry. Entry fee $15. Deadline September 15, 2017.
Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards. Write Romance, Thriller, Crime, Horror, Science-Fiction, and Young Adult? Short fiction: 4,000 words or less. $20 fee. Grand prize $2500. Deadline October 16th, 2017
After a busy weekend, I am now into Board meeting week! Firstly, Tuesday will be with the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County meeting. We have our annual Words in the Park to plan and organize for 30th September, this will be our 10th year! So we are endeavoring to make it bigger than ever.
As part of the Canada 150 celebrations we are also publishing a book of Canadian themed stories. This project entails reading, editing and approving members submissions. The book will be launched at Words in the Park. We have already voted on a cover – to be revealed at the launch!
My second, board meeting will be on Wednesday for the Arts & Culture Council of Strathcona County. We too will be organizing and planning our event, Culture Days in conjunction with our partners the Writers Foundation. The event is also part of Alberta Culture Days, which is celebrating 10 years. In all a busy time for everyone. We will have artisans and performers throughout the day.
Friday evening I will meet up with a writer friend for coffee/tea after work. It is one of my favorite things to do. Connect and discuss with other writers. Our venue is a local non-profit coffee shop, which incidentally stocks several books from my publisher, Dream Write Publishing.
What are you up to this week?
From July 13-16, The Saskatchewan Festival of Words takes place in Moose Jaw, SK, featured authors including Marty Chan, Dawn Dumont, Marina Endicott, Anosh Irani, Jael Richardson, Alissa York, and more.
The Lakefield Literary Festival runs July 14-16 in Lakefield, ON, (near Peterborough), with a line-up including Zoe Whittall, Marni Jackson, Lynne Katsukake, Jane Urquhart, Kerry Clare, Douglas Gibson, Steven Price, Lindy Mechefske, and children’s events with Andrew Larsen and Kari-Lynn Winters. The program also includes Craft Talks for writers.
Add your upcoming events – no matter where you are located!
This week most of my time will be dealing with the planning of future events, for instance I have a meeting with the local transit director tonight. This is to discuss shuttle buses to the Heritage Day event hosted by the Arts & Culture Council of Strathcona County in June. I also have to create a schedule for performances for the event too. One of the disadvantages of all this pre-planning is how quickly the year goes by! With an AGM and conference in April, a writing retreat in May, the Heritage Day in June and the upcoming Words in the Park event, which is part of Alberta Culture Days in September – poof the year has almost gone!
I have to take a step back sometimes and look at what month I am actually in. The years pass quickly enough as it is.
How about you? Do the seasons come and go at an alarming rate?
Other local events:
March 30, 2017 7:00 pm Whitemud Crossing Library (Whitemud Crossing Shopping Centre, 4211 – 106 Street)
The WGA and EPL present an evening of new work from six multicultural, multilingual writers in celebration of the completion of the 2016 Borderlines Writers Circle. Join Nermeen Youssef, Tazeen Hasan, Mohamed Abdi, Kate Rittner-Werkman, Asma Sayed, and Aksam Alyousef for poetry, short story, historical fiction, memoir and nonfiction.
This week’s events for me are mostly Board meetings. The first is tomorrow – Writers Foundation meeting where we will be planning our annual conference among other things. The conference is a major event for the foundation and we are always delighted to welcome prestige presenters. The event is open to members and non-members and is always an enjoyable and informative day.
On Wednesday I will be chair for the Arts & Culture Council board meeting and again there will be planning to commence for our 150 year Canada celebration in the summer.
Both boards enable me to indulge in the arts and spread the word in and around our locality.
Do you belong to a board? How does it help you and your community?
Gallery 501, Sherwood Park – Exhibit
“Canadianisms: A Half Decade Inspired by Canada” by Brandy Saturley
January 6 – Feburary 26, 2017 Saturley paints Canadian Contemporary Realism. Making art for over thirty years, and painting in acrylics for fifteen. Saturley gained national attention with her paintings inspired by Canadian culture and sport including goalie masks, Canadian athletes, the Canadian flag, the Montreal Canadiens, Alberta Rockies, and Canadian wildlife.
Other writing events:
The Galiano Island Literary Festival, which will kick the new season February 17–19 with authors including Gail Anderson-Dargatz, Carmen Aguirre, Janie Chang, Anosh Irani, Jennifer Manuel, Heather O’Neill, Bev Sellars, and Yasuko Thanh.